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Outstanding council tax rises 6% to over £2.5 billion

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Outstanding council tax rises 6% to over £2.5 billion

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Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Local Government

Money Money

The total amount of council tax still outstanding is £2.528 billion, an increase of £152 million or 6% on the figure uncollected by the end of March 2013. Commenting on the figures, consumer insight group Equifax said better use of available credit reference agency data could be the key to recovering more money.

The latest data goes up to 31 March 2014 and was published by the Department for Communities and Local Government ("Collection rates and receipts of council tax and non-domestic rates in England 2013-14") on 3 July.

Equifax said its debt management reports can help local government departments to assess an individual’s ability and willingness to pay their debt on a case-by-case basis.

"Equifax data can be integrated into a local authority’s collections strategy to separate the 'won’t pays' from the 'can’t pays' and ensure the most appropriate and cost-effective use of resources," said Melanie Hosker, head of public sector services at Equifax.

"Local authorities need to be able to use all the tools at their disposal to ensure they reduce funding deficits which are set to be compounded by future budget cuts," Hosker said. "Armed with the right level of data, they can tackle debt recovery in a way that’s fair and effective."

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